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Posted on March 18, 2005

Bailey Porter
Editor-in-Chief

I know, I know. Another column about reality television is not exactly what you want to read. But this is different.

I’m not going to talk about how reality TV is taking over or how it brings low quality programming into our homes. I love it

Of course, I’ve always been susceptible to flashy advertising gimmicks and seemingly pointless television.
Reality shows are no exception. I can get wrapped up in the drama and excitement of even the most trivial shows something I shamefully admit I get from my dad.

It began innocently enough with the BBC home decorating and gardening shows. I must have spent an entire summer watching “Changing Rooms” and “Ground Force.” Thus began my appreciation for British humor and an outlet for the little blue-haired woman living out her retirement inside me. I became a mad, craft loving and gardening machine for a while.

“Trading Spaces” was a natural progression. I loved that show so much I brought it home with me. No, I never applied for the show but I could tell you based on the outcome of the rooms which designers worked on them.
Reality television lends many creative options to people like me. With the help of my mom, I convinced the rest of my family to try out some new ideas for our house. I eased them into it starting with the laundry room. By the end of last summer our living room was orange. A tasteful orange, mind you.

Each Wednesday I can’t wait to get home because I TiVo “America’s Next Top Model.” My mom and brother made fun of me at first but now they get into it just as much as I do. I mean, how could they not? It is so sad when Tyra utters those fateful words: “Standing in front of me are two beautiful women, but only one of you will continue on in the hopes of becoming America’s next top model.” Yikes, it can really get emotional. It also provides quite the learning experience. My runway walk has really improved. (You’ll have to take my word on that.)

My coworkers tried to get me on “How Do I Look?” – a Style Network show that turns fashion victims (yours truly) into a style star with the help of the victim’s best friends and an unapologetic stylist. That would be cool. I’ll admit to being a fashion disaster. I just want to be part of the reality TV phenomena so bad. And why not? Everyone else is.

One of my latest plans involves my mom’s 1985 blue and white Suburban. I think Xzibit and West Coast Customs could do something with it. Maybe turn it into a pimped-out dog-adoption-mobile.

There’s so many quality reality shows out there I can only name a few more favorites. But that doesn’t mean I am not equally impressed by others.

“Amazing Race” has outwitted, outplayed and, I hope, outlasted “Survivor.” Don’t get me wrong. During the first few seasons – okay five seasons – I was hooked. We even had finale parties at my house. But “Amazing Race” is one I really want to go on. As soon as my brother turns 21 we get to send in our application. It would be great to travel around the world competing for $1 million. And the money would just be a nice bonus.

Really, the adventure shared with my brother would be worth it.

Some of my guilty reality show pleasures are: “Newlyweds” – I have total respect for Nick and Jessica, if that’s possible – “Room Raiders” and “Made” – a show that lets me watch other awkward folks like myself get made into something hipper and more interesting.

I would like to end this column with a reminder that I do maintain a high grade point average and I am known to pick up a good book, thank you very much.

Bailey Porter, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at porterb@ulv.edu.

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